For our Fall Shopping Guide, we asked a few of our favorite style mavens—including model-of-the-moment Tati Cotliar—what they’re dying to buy this season. Tati sent us a few items she’s lusting after—and a veritable dissertation on style. Read on below for her thoughts (slightly edited and condensed) on the vintage, the contemporary, and how you can make just about anything work for you. And check out the full Fall Shopping guide, with picks by Cotliar, Anna Dello Russo, Natalie Massenet, and more.

So, normally, I’m not looking forward to items in particular. When I shop, it’s something of the moment. I enter a store and suddenly, music and clothes all together—ha-ha, I find what I want. I usually like one-of-a-kind pieces, or those ones that remind me of something in the past, or just because they look nice.

I’ve been looking around for seventies jumpsuits, with [a wide] leg, some orange color, with a cool low-waist belt, big. For that, I think I’ll have to run over [to some] vintage shops. I like also catsuits, transparent, very sexy, to wear with something super oversized on top, like a big-shouldered jacket—very early nineties, like secretaries used to wear. I got one in yellow at the Salvation Army in Chelsea, which is great! Otherwise, with some cool big Ramones punk leather jacket—very big as well—or a suuuper big jean vest, no sleeves, a bit Boy Scout. I kind of like mixing incredibly sexy or feminine or chic [pieces] with boyish or rocker pieces. I think that maybe, these pieces by themselves, they go too much to their either sexy-elegant or punk-rocker side. But I don’t know, you put them together and they…work. I also like to put my hair on the side, continuing with this punk-rocker attitude. But then, if I think about it, that’s how girls in the nineties used to wear their hair! Like in Beverly Hills 90210! So then it also matches the secretary jacket—ha-ha!

I love the feeling when you get excited or inspired in a store by something you like, all together, as a look. It’s incredibly nice to feel that you just created a character, or that at least, it reminds you to something from another movie or another time, like an icon. I just think that this is a time where everybody is looking back to unique pieces, unique looks. There is no such thing as “the 2000s look” or “the 2010 look,” it’s just a big mélange, which I love, ’cause we can be so playful. I like to feel that you can put on whatever you want and if you just feel it’s for you, that it’s your energy, it’s going to work.

Also, I feel the energy of people on the street wanting to be unique, they are looking for icons, from the movies, from the music, from fashion (like the supermodels’ era), from historic designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel, Paco Rabanne (Like Jane Birkin’s dress—who doesn’t love that?), Dior, Pierre Cardin, etcetera. They all created something that inspired people and artists. They made a wave, a groove. So, what is better than to try to use that and re-create it, adapted for yourself? Everybody is [looking] for a strong personality in the looks—I think that all stylists and designers can feel that, and are doing an incredible job. Find what’s best for yourself and just play, show what you feel, ’cause today, I like to think that everything works or [at least], that if you want it to, it can work.